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Norton Family Review 2022: Effective Parental Control

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Welcome to my Norton Family review.

Norton Family is a parental control app that allows you to monitor ALL your child’s internet activities throughout ALL their devices (unless they’re using a PC on Windows 10 in S mode or Mac).

It lets you block inappropriate websites and certain search results, monitor all the websites and video sites they visit, the apps they install, keywords they search, and more.

It also lets you set their screen time limit and gadget use schedule for your child’s device, access their location, and even has a panic button for them to use in emergencies.

In this article, I will also be looking at it side by side with some of the best parental control apps in the market and see how well Norton does in comparison to them.

My Norton Family Premier Review

PROS

  • Easy to use across different devices
  • Affordable compared to similar competitors
  • Unlimited number of devices
  • Features that encourage openness, honesty, and open communication

CONS

  • Does not work on Mac
  • No calls, text, and social media monitoring

Norton Family is a parental control app that works with both Android and iOS devices. You will get fewer monitoring features on iPhones and iPads. So it’s a great solution for Android, but for iOS devices you’d be better off with a different parental control app.

Norton Family Features

These are the features of Norton Family parental control software that are available in Android, iOS, and Windows:

Customizable Supervision Levels

Norton Family Premier comes with preset restrictions per age group, which are:

  1. Very High for children below or aged 8
  2. High for children aged 8 – 11
  3. Moderate for children aged 12 – 14
  4. Low for children aged 15 -17

The allowed categories and web filtering differ throughout the levels, but they are all ADJUSTABLE. You can easily add or remove categories in the blocked list or even block certain websites from an allowed category.

These supervision levels are not just grouped according to your child’s age — you could also set different parental control restrictions PER CHILD. This is useful if more than one kid belongs in the same age group, but they have varying degrees of maturity levels and vastly different personalities.

Web Filtering

There are different web filtering options you can tailor depending on your child’s age:

  1. Block – DOES NOT ALLOW your child to visit the restricted websites they are attempting to access and tells them why it is blocked
  2. Warn – your child RECEIVES A WARNING for attempting to access a website then gives them a choice whether to proceed or not, but still allows them access
  3. Monitor – your child has NO RESTRICTIONS at all on any website, but still keeps you informed on your child’s activity online (they are also informed that you are monitoring them)

Screen Schedule and Time Supervision

Norton family premier can be enabled to set the screen time limits on your child’s device and set the schedule on what time they can start and stop using their device. You can also easily modify this feature to have different settings on different days.

For instance, if you want Child A to only start using their iPad after class, you can set their schedule from 1pm to 10pm with a total screen time of 3 hours.

Meanwhile, you can allow Child B to use their phone from 8am to 12mn with a total time of 5 hours.

You could set it to change on weekends and set the gadget-use schedule to longer hours and give them more total screen time.

Parental control allows you to INSTANTLY lock all devices under one account when your kid reaches their time limit. It also lets your kid request for additional time, which you can accept or reject.

Personally, I think this is a nice feature to add. It promotes communication with your kids and lets them know you are open to discussion and adjustments.

There is no overall screen time limit per child.

The only limitation this feature has is that you have to set it up one by one on all your kids’ devices. If one child has multiple gadgets but very limited screen time, you will have to manually split that time into all of your child’s gadgets.

You don’t want your child to use up all 3 hours on his phone then switch to his PC for another 3 hours! This could be a bit of a hassle to set up.

School Time Feature

Norton family allows your child to FREELY use all their gadgets for remote learning WITHOUT it counting toward their screen limit. This is especially useful when they attend online classes and do their schoolwork online.

You get to limit their web portal access to educational sites and apps to school-related ones in School Time mode. You could also use this to help them build good study habits by avoiding distractions during their designated study hours and instead encouraging them to use the internet to learn.

Location Tracking

Tracking location can be utilized in the Norton family premier.

It lets you know their location in real-time and allows you to see the device location history along with a timeline of when they went to a certain place.

It also allows geofencing — a pretty cool feature that comes in handy when you’re not physically with your child.

With this feature, you get to set a radius boundary to up to 10500 feet! If your child’s device leaves that set boundary, you IMMEDIATELY get alerted.

Additionally, your child can send you an SOS.

Norton has a panic button your child can press if they find themselves in a dangerous situation. They can call you for help and alert you to their current location ASAP.

Do note, however, that location tracking will only be available in certain regions and will depend if your kids are Android or iOS users (I have listed the countries in which tracking location is available for Android and iPhone below).

Search Supervision

Parental control will track and report your child’s search history and require you to use Safe Search for filtering on search engines like Google and Yahoo.

For this to work, they should ONLY use the Norton Family Browser on their mobile devices.

You will have to uninstall and block apps of other browsers on your child’s device when you set it up, especially ones like Safari and DuckDuckGo, since these browsers prioritize privacy more than anything else.

The Norton Family extension should be enabled in their respective desktop browsers, too.

However, this search filtering will NOT work on YouTube searches while the kids use the web version on their Windows PC.

Mobile App Supervision

Norton Family Premier will let you block apps and games individually across all your child’s gadgets for Android and iOS devices.

You’ll also be able to see the top apps your child uses, so that’s a bonus feature to gain more insight into your child’s phone habits.

Video Supervision

Norton Family will let you apply search filtering in YouTube and Hulu, as long as you uninstall and block their respective apps first and let them watch through the Norton browser.

Parental controls will also let you know which Hulu and YouTube videos they have watched, together with the video description and the URL to the video itself.

Unfortunately, this is where video supervision ends. It does not work with other video streaming services like Netflix, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime.

House Rules

When you install the Norton Family app on your child’s phone, they will be notified of the individualized house rules you have set for that specific child’s profile.

The house rule feature will let them know if…

  • There are websites that are blocked for them
  • Their searches are being filtered or just being monitored
  • Video supervision is in place
  • Their location is being tracked and geofencing is enabled
  • And show their respective screen schedule and time limits

These set house rules are accessible anytime by your kids through the Norton app on their mobile devices.

Having house rules out in the open is another one of the helpful tools that Norton Family uses to encourage open communication in your family and establish trust and compliance.

Weekly or Monthly Report

One of the parental control services Norton Family offers is the detailed reports sent to your email at the end of the week or month, depending on which schedule you prefer.

These regular parental control reports will also give you an overview of your child’s profile weekly and monthly. It will also let you monitor changes in your child’s activities, like their individual app usage or changes in the screen time they spend.

You get to see their long-term internet habits and use this information to adjust to these changes accordingly (like maybe modifying the house rules or lowering the web filtering modes).

Norton Family for iPhone

ios logo

These are the specific features of parental control that will be different for iOS users.

1. Mobile Apps Supervision

On your child’s iOS device, app management will be a bit limited compared to Android devices.

You will still be able to block and unblock certain apps individually. But you will not be able to prevent downloads of other apps or restrict in-app purchases.

In video streaming, you will also NOT be able to limit the videos they are allowed to watch by age-appropriate ratings.

2. Location Tracking

Norton parental control app-only offers location tracking in the following countries for iOS users:

  • US
  • UK
  • Japan
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • Indonesia
  • Hong Kong

Norton Family for Android

Norton Family is way more optimized for Android than it is for iOS devices.

Meanwhile, these are how specific features of Norton parental control programs will provide a different experience for Android users:

1. App Management

In your parental interface, Norton Family will list EVERY installed Android app on your child’s device. That list will be updated when your child installs a new app.

You will be able to block downloads of new apps, or you could also opt to disable the Google Play app to prevent downloads in the first place.

You will be able to do all of these in the Mobile App section from the dashboard.

2. Location Tracking

Norton Family parental control apps on your Android devices will only enable tracking your child’s location if you live in any of these countries:

  • US
  • Canada
  • UK
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Japan

Norton Family Pricing

There are other parental control apps like the ones Norton Family Premier Deals have to offer, but Norton’s price point at a one-year subscription is fairly affordable compared to them.

At $49.99 per year, Norton Family is way less expensive than NetNanny and Qustodio, and the only competitor at par with Norton that costs less is Kaspersky.

The Norton Family offer has NO LIMIT on the number of devices, and you can add up to 15 child profiles. It also gives you a 30-day free version to see if it is the right fit for your family first before purchasing.

There is one thing that could probably be a downside. Norton Family subscription is only available in one package.

It cannot be modified to your specific family’s needs or optimized to your budget.

Norton Family Installation

Installing Norton Family on your kids’ devices is super easy! Let me walk you through the steps:

Step 1: Create and Customize Individual Child Profiles

First, you have to create and sign in to the Norton Family parent dashboard on the web console before downloading the app.

Then you can create individual profiles for each of your children. This is where you set up their supervision levels.

Some questions you could ask yourself to guide you are:

  • Will this child be allowed file sharing?
  • What restriction level will I implement for this child’s web-access?
  • Do sites that are web proxies have to be blocked for this child?

Step 2: Install the Norton Family App on Their Devices

Gather all your kid’s devices that you will be monitoring and install the app. You will be able to connect their gadgets to your Norton Family account through a link or QR code that will be provided.

The installed app will then ask if it is a Parent Device or a Child Device — make sure to select Child Device. Then, add their respective devices to the device list under their profile.

And you’re all set!

Step 3: Your Child Gets Notified

When you return their devices, your children will see a notification that Norton Family has been installed.

They will also be informed of their personalized house rules, screen schedule, and time limit if it applies to their profile.

Customer Support

Norton Family has tutorials, guides, and FAQs available for parents to view anytime they wish to.

If your concern with the app can not be fixed through the posted information, Norton makes sure troubleshooting for subscription issues is delivered straight through their 24/7 chat support.

Their technicians can walk you through the steps to address your concern or even remotely access your account and devices (only with your explicit permission, of course).

Who Should Use Norton Family?

There are many parental control apps in the market, but is Norton Family the RIGHT one for you?

Here are a couple of quick questions to ask yourself:

Do You Prefer Open Monitoring?

Some parental apps operate on stealth mode.

This means your child is being monitored WITHOUT them knowing it. Sneaky and discrete, but also…a bit creepy.

Kids these days are clever and always have a way of getting around things. If they find out you were secretly spying on them, it might spark an argument or even raise trust issues.

Norton Family, on the other hand, is more obvious in monitoring your child.

The way I see it, it actually promotes openness, constant communication, and discussion when it comes to posting rules about the time your children spend on the internet.

Are You an Apple Family?

Norton Family works well on iOS devices, but as you can see, it is more optimized for Android than it is for iOS, not to mention that MACs are completely immune to it.

You may be able to work around iOS limitations, but you will have to deal with the fact that you will NOT be able to monitor their internet activity outside their iPhones and iPads.

Implementing rules and internet restrictions that are inconsistent can also pose a problem later on.

If your goal in using parental control apps is for them to be responsible about their internet usage, this “ON on some devices” and “OFF on others” set-up might just be counterproductive.

So, if your child:

  • Uses a computer with windows support (or you do not mind not being able to control their internet activities on their MACs)
  • Uses an Android mobile

And you:

  • Can deal with the iOS restriction
  • Do not like being stealthy

Norton Family is the RIGHT CHOICE for your family!

Do You Need to Monitor Their Calls and Texts?

A feature Qustodio offers that Norton Family does NOT is call and text monitoring.

Qustodio will let you see all their sent and received messages and block calls from unwanted numbers.

Qustodio also has the additional capability of monitoring Amazon Kindle devices.

But not every parent needs these extra features, and if you are one of them, you don’t have to pay extra for those.

Norton Family vs Kaspersky Safe Kids

First of all, Kaspersky Safe Kids is less expensive than Norton Family and offers an unlimited number of devices and children profiles.

Kaspersky is actually one of the cheapest parental monitoring apps in the market.

Kaspersky has very flexible controls, alert systems, a wide range of website filtering, and good geofencing that lets you set up allowed areas for a specific child at a given time to track your child’s location.

Individual screen schedules and time limits can also be set up and customized for different days.

The installation process is also almost the same as Norton Family’s, and the only downside Kaspersky has is in the parental interface. It is not as easy to use as Norton’s and can be unresponsive at times.

If you look at it, Kaspersky is a great budget alternative for Norton Family. You also will not be giving up much of the essential safety features.

If you want the ultimate bang for your buck, try Kaspersky first!

Norton Family vs Qustudio

Qustodio is a little more expensive than Norton Family.

Like Norton’s, the setting up and installation is easy, and the process is also similar. Qustodio also offers unlimited children accounts, and the parental interface is user-friendly.

You can also customize the restrictions, filtering, screen schedules, and time limits like Norton and Kaspersky. It also allows you to monitor even Amazon Kindle devices, something Norton and Kaspersky can not do.

In addition, Qustodio also allows you to manage and monitor your child’s calls (and even block some suspicious numbers) and texts (you can also opt to see all the content of their sent and received messages).

Your children’s device location can also be tracked, and like Norton’s, Qustodio is equipped with a panic button if your child finds himself in danger and wants to send you an SOS.

Conclusion

Bottom line, Norton Family, like most parenting control apps of its range, makes monitoring your kids’ internet usage easier and keeps them safer.

Norton is right smack in the middle of Kaspersky Safe Kids and Qustodio in terms of cost and features. It is a good choice if you feel that it will work best for you and your kids at its price point.

I hope this post answered your questions, satisfied your curiosity about the Norton Family app, and helped you figure out whether you should subscribe to it or not.

Have you made your decision yet? If you’re still doubting, maybe you should check out the free trial first!

About the Author

Jason has over 25 years in the information and internet security industry. He is passionate about smartphones, gadgets, and technology. He also got a solid background in programming and software.  This includes Python, C++, app development and more.

jason thompson